06/28/13 — Another rainout for Post 11

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Another rainout for Post 11

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 28, 2013 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- You can never stop the rain by complaining, but Mother Nature sure has become annoying the past few days.

Late afternoon and early evening storms have washed out numerous Area 1 East Division games this week, including Thursday's slate. The postponements were league-leading Rocky Mount Post 58 at Wayne County Post 11 and Windsor at Kinston.

Each game may be a lost cause since none of the teams have open dates on their respective schedules. Sunday is the final day of regular-season play, but some teams have scheduled make-up games as late as July 5 -- two days before the four-team Area 1 East playoffs begin.

The inclement weather has left athletic officers scrambling. They have been in contact with Area 1 commissioner Bob Figulski, who has yet to issue a ruling on playoff seeding if the teams don't complete their 14-game division schedule. It was 16 games until Ahoskie Post 102 folded due to internal issues on its team. Figulski ordered teams to drop their wins and losses against Ahoskie, which raised eyebrows and upset the teams affected by his decision.

"It's going to be interesting," Wayne County Post 11 athletic officer James Cox said during Thursday's rainout. "It's been a bad year. We are not making any money because we're not getting gates. I'm not sure we can even pay our bills."

Post 11 operated in the red last season and worked to cut corners for 2013. The team has traveled by van to away games instead of a charter bus this season, but rental fees and insurance has taken a bite out of the checkbook. Cox said umpires still require payment if the game is not postponed within a reasonable amount of time.

Instead of facing Apex tonight, Wayne County (13-5 overall, 5-4 East) entertains Pitt County Post 39 in an effort to clear a playing date on each team's respective schedule. The game was originally planned for Saturday.

Pitt County defeated Wayne County 9-0 on Wednesday. It was Post 11's first shutout loss in 69 games since a season-ending, 10-0 mercy-rule defeat to Wilson in the 2010 Area 1 East quarterfinals.

Cox hopes to make up a division contest again Albemarle-Elizabeth City on Saturday. He may get Figulski involved since neither the head coach nor athletic officer from Albemarle will return his phone calls and text messages.

Wayne County travels to Windsor for a pivotal doubleheader on Sunday. The teams are tied for third place in division play. Game time is 3 p.m. at Bertie High School.

Post 11 enters its stretch drive on the heels of three division setbacks in its last four outings. It will also compete without starting pitcher Jackson Hayes, who sustained a season-ending injury against Pitt County. Nagging tendinitis caused Hayes' arm to tighten and lock up during the third inning with the game tied 0-0.

After seeing the right-hander throw two consecutive run-scoring wild pitches, Post 11 head coach Jason Sherrer walked out to the mound to check on Hayes. Sherrer asked the home plate umpire if Hayes could throw one pitch to catcher Justin Barbour, so he could observe his motion. The umpire denied Sherrer's request.

"I've seen more than a thousand pitches thrown in my day and I knew something didn't look right," Sherrer said.

Hayes missed part of this past season at Southern Wayne due to the tendinitis and began rehab in April. He has been on a pitch count this summer. Hayes threw 16.3 innings and fashioned a 3.86 earned run average (ERA) in four Legion starts.

The rising senior is expected to undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine the extent of his injury. Hayes hopes he doesn't require Tommy John surgery, which will take at least 12 months to fully heal and force him to miss the entire 2014 season with the Saints.